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Defeated Chiefs, and Problematic Princes In this week's parsha study the people of Israel pull the princes

of all 12 tribes and elect to search out the land of Canaan. In verse two of B'midbar (Numbers) chapter 13 we read "Send men to explore the land of Canan, the land I am giving to Israel"~stop. If we pause just for one brief moment, can you see how selfcontradicting this verse actually is? Here is one way we could see it. Go up and search the land, check it out, get the layout, approximate the population of the people, case the towns and surrounding villages, look at their livestock and crops and bring back a sample so we can make an accurate determination about just how difficult it may or may not be to conquer their territory. But didn't God just tell them He was already going to give them ownership of the land? My point is not to say we should throw common sense out the window when making important decisions though. It does matter and is good to be able to observe one's surroundings because YHVH gave us eyes to see so we can receive and process information to gain insight and understanding. But Yeshua said it best when He injected supernatural common sense into the conversation declaring, "...with men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible." (Mk.10:27) When the spies went into the land what we find upon their return is an untrue report. It wasn't entirely untrue. They likely gave accurate descriptions of the people, the geography, the lay of the land~ but more importantly, at the critical moment to give courage they instead brought slander. It says in verse 32 that they brought up an evil report of the land. Maybe you've read this portion a thousand times, maybe twice, there are so many excellent points to discuss in every parsha, every chapter and verse, but here the point I want to convey to you friend is these men were no ordinary men~ they were the heads of the tribes and they were called chiefs and princes. These men were responsible for their tribes and resolving conflict, maintaining peace and modeling what "covenant-life" with YHVH looked like. And after regaling the people of Israel with all of the grand mental pictures of the land and the people and

the bounty and opportunity awaiting them what did all but two of them elect to do? They slandered God. It says they brought up an evil report... the operative Hebrew word there being 'dibbah' and it means "speaking evil of another (usually done quietly), quiet speech, a whisper" (Benner, Ancient Hebrew Lexicon, #1071 A(nl). So the question I have for these men is why? I mean, did they premeditate this course? Was it something they all conspired to do around the campfire within earshot of the horses? Or was it something they chose to do on the spur of the moment when all of Israel was gathered around them? Certainly there are a multitude of opinions, theories and speculation running amok, but this much is true... they lied. They twisted God's word. There is no getting around this mishpocha, this is what they did and it pains me to read it because these were special appointed men, respected men. Have you ever looked at what their names mean? I've compiled a small list below for you to see. Shammua: Renowned Shaphat: Judge Caleb: The Faithful Blessed Heart Igal: He Redeems Hoshea: Salvation Palti: My deliverance Gaddiel: God is my fortune Gaddi: My fortune Ammiel: My kinsman is God Sether: to be hidden carefully Nahbi: to remain hidden Geuel: The Majesty of God The Famous law-giver blesses the faithful heart with redemption, salvation and deliverance. He is their fortune and kinsman, hidden carefully among them, remaining to reveal the majesty of God in them. God told them, "it's yours". They came back and said "There just ain't no way folks (Spires translation)". Now, first allow me to simply say.. we are guilty. We are. We are chosen, we are setapart and called YHVH's royal priesthood. His Royal Priesthood! This is the undeniable truth beloved. But this is not a hammer. YHVH loves us and continues to extend a hand of love, promise

and grace. But if you believe His word is true, and it is, and if you receive it as the living word planted in your heart then you are going to be transformed by it. YHVH says "Oh, that they would always have hearts like this (obedient), that they might fear me and obey all my commands! If they did, they and their descendants would prosper forever (Deut. 5:29). Tehillim 19 reads "The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul; the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple (vs.7)". The word in Hebrew used here for converting is Shuwb" and it means to return back to a previous place. It brings you back.. where? I would humbly submit to you the following. What was it that God gave Moshe' instructions to? The Tabernacle, that's right. But why? YHVH said, "And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them. (Ex.25:8). Later in the same chapter He declares "And thou shalt put the mercy seat above upon the ark; and in the ark thou shalt put the testimony that I shall give thee. And there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubims which are upon the ark of the testimony" (vss.21-22). Commune as used in this verse is the word "dabar", and it means to speak, declare, converse, command, promise, warn, threaten, and to sing (Strongs #1696). People, God longs to have a conversation with you. And if we will listen to His words of truth He is telling you today that you are His, that you are an overcomer, and that you will succeed today, because this is the day that He has made, and He's created the heavens and the earth to declare His glory. Beloved, do you struggle with negativity? Do you sabotage yourself? Do you find yourself ever struggling to not speak negatively? So did our forefathers... But God has indeed spoken into your life. He has called us to light the lamps, to shine His Holy fire, and that requires us to choose. Any given day has numerous choices. Will we let YHVH lead us into His Promised Land? You have your marching orders! Today the choice is yours. Shalom Alecheim. Will Spires B'midbar Ministries Praise and Worship Singer/Songwriter Torah Student